Soroptimist is an international organization for business and professional
women who volunteer their time, talents and resources to improve
the lives of women and girls in local communities and throughout
Our members are a diverse group of like-minded women who work together
using their expertise, business and professional skills and talents
to support community-based and international projects that benefit
women and girls. Membership to Soroptimist is by invitation.
There are over 3,000 Soroptimist clubs with about 90,000 members in about
125 countries and territories who contribute time, talent and resources
to make the world a better place.
Soroptimist International of the Philippines Region (A Foundation) Inc. (SIPR) with
86 clubs and 1,924 members, is an affiliate of Soroptimist International
of the Americas (SIA), the largest of four federations comprising
Soroptimist International. Please click
here for the Soroptimist organizational structure.
International has General Consultative Status with the United
Nations Economic and Social Council (UNESCO) and is represented
in many meetings of its agencies around the world.
Soroptimist clubs all over the world recite the Soroptimist
Pledge in every important club meeting and event.
The word Soroptimist comes from two Latin words, soror meaning sister and optima meaning best. Soroptimists are women at
their best, working to help other women to be their best.
The first Soroptimist club was formed in 1921 in Oakland, California,
USA by women who were interested in volunteer service but who were
prohibited from joining all-male organizations. From then to the
present, members have continued to achieve the best for women through
various programs of service through Awareness, Advocacy and Action.
In 1928, various clubs in the United States formed a federation
now called the Soroptimist International of the Americas (SIA).
Much later, SIA admitted new clubs from South America and Asia.
Today, SIA has about 1,430 clubs with 38,171 members in 19 countries
and territories, including the Philippines.
The beginnings of Soroptimist in the Philippines can be traced
to two women - Mariquita S. Castelo, a Filipina and Betty Beck Prosser,
an American - who shared a commitment to serve others and uplift
the status of women. Together, they worked for the establishment
of the first Soroptimist club in the Philippines.
In a beautiful ceremony in April 1964, the Charter
Members of SI Founder Manila were inducted by then
SIA President Pluma Batten and on May 6, 1966, the Officers were
installed and the Club Charter was presented in a ceremony held
at the Malacanang Palace with then First Lady Imelda R. Marcos as
the guest of honor and speaker.
From ManIla, the spirit of Soroptimist spread to Davao, Baguio,
Naga, Cebu, Cabanatuan, Iriga, Malolos, Daet, Dagupan and the rest
of the country. Soroptimist thus flourished in the Philippines
with 86 clubs and 1,924 members, continuing the same spirit of service
that lives on through the untiring efforts and commitment of current
Soroptimists. Please click here for the listing of Past National Presidents and Governors
1. Program. The efforts of SIPR to raise awareness of women's issues will enable women and girls to live better lives.
2. Membership. SIPR
will be a thriving, dynamic, progressive and relevant organization
of members who will find involvement in Soroptimist valuable, worthwhile and enjoyable.
3. Public Awareness. Soroptimist
will be widely known for its efforts to improve the lives of women
4. Fundraising. Sufficient funds
will exist for SIPR to accomplish its project goals.
PROGRAM - Goal #1
The efforts of SIPR to raise awareness of women’s issues will enable women and girls to lead better lives.
Encourage the participation of all clubs in SIPR in the Women’s Opportunity Awards program.
Encourage the participation of all clubs in SIPR in at least one other community project whose sole beneficiaries are women or girls, preferably the Soroptimist STOP Trafficking Project .
Encourage the support by all clubs in SIPR to least one Soroptimist International project by making a donation through SIPR.
Promote the use of Soroptimist-produced materials in participating in the Women’s Opportunity Awards project.
Persuade all clubs in SIPR to participate in projects that improve conditions for women and girls (Stop Trafficking Project, Elimination of Teen Dating Violence, Workplace Campaign to End Domestic Violence, Making a Difference for Women Award, Soroptimist Club Grants, Violet Richardson Award, Disaster Relief, Live Your Dream Campaign) , particularly those that will impart basic education, improve women’s health through family spacing, and provide training on livelihood skills.
Promote club participation in SIPR’s identifying projects (Adopt-a-Barangay and Adopt-a-PNP Women and Children Desk).
Encourage members to learn about conditions affecting women and girls, especially through Soroptimist magazines, newsletters, websites, white papers, conventions, conferences and workshops.
Encourage all clubs in SIPR to engage in U.N.-sponsored activities that address women and girl issues.
MEMBERSHIP - Goal #2
SIPR will be a thriving, dynamic, progressive and relevant organization of members who will find involvement in Soroptimist valuable, worthwhile and enjoyable.
Each club in SIPR must recruit at least 4 new members during the year while increase member retention rates.
Develop a new generation of members and leaders.
Improve community awareness of SIPR through participation in community events.
Increase member’s pride in the organization through meaningful projects that benefit women and girls.
Encourage clubs to hold new member orientations at least once a year.
Provide opportunities for better team work among SIPR clubs and members.
Encourage the use of modern technology to promote better communication.
Reward excellent club projects through the Governor’s Award Program.
Provide members with meaningful leadership and volunteer opportunities.
Reinforce value of membership and collective power of belonging to an international organization through various trainings and workshops.
PUBLIC AWARENESS - Goal #3
SIPR will be known throughout the community for our efforts to improve the lives of women and girls.
Gain publicity for women-focused activities in trimedia as well as in the SIPR website.
Participate in the STOP Trafficking public awareness campaign.
Promote the Women’s Opportunity Awards project and other Soroptimist projects such as the Soroptimist STOP Trafficking.
Promote the concept of branding and the importance of mission focus in order to be known in the community.
Encourage computer literacy as a tool for public awareness.
Promote the use Soroptimist logo, tagline and mission whenever and wherever possible.
FUNDRAISING - Goal #4
Sufficient funds will exist for SIPR and its clubs to accomplish our program goals.
Raise enough money to fund SIPR and club projects.
Establish the SIPR disaster relief fund for the immediate assistance of calamity victims.
Promote the participation of all clubs in the SIPR Dream Raffle.
Encourage the participation of all members in the “Puso sa Puso” SIPR Disaster Relief Fund.
Encourage members to contribute at least $5.28 in Founders Pennies when paying dues.
Encourage clubs to participate in SIA’s Annual Club Campaign, Laurel Society and Laurel Legacy.
First Soroptimist Club in the Philippines
SI Founder Manila
Mariquita S. Castelo
Mary Concepcion Bautista
Ester V. Garrovillas
Lilia R. Gonzalez
Carmen M. Kalaw
Mercedes V. Lising
Leonor E. Pablo
Soledad R. Teodoro
Eva Ponce de Leon
Lucrecia R. Urtula